We are back with a wild exploration of one of our many local medicines! Today in Wildcrafting Wednesday, we are talking about the strange and intimidating Ocotillo plant (Fouquieria Splendens). This plant can be found down south in many of the open desert areas around New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Northern Mexico. It desires a similar climate to Chaparral (last week’s plant). This plant is passed by constantly due to it’s unassuming aesthetic in all times but the weeks it explodes into a spray of vibrant magenta blooms. It has leaves – minute, drab-colored foliage – but mostly inch-long spikes of lymph-stimulating goodness. Harvest this plant anytime, but be cautious as it is rare and self-protective.
A few branches can be snipped, hammered, and stripped of its medicinal bark. Then – using gardening gloves – stuffed into a jar and tinctured for full effect.
The flowers can also be used as an essence (gentle infusion) for protecting the heart.